Sarcophagus of Kaiemneferet

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, 2700- 2200 B.C.

Rose granite, from Giza

The ancient Egyptians not only designed their tombs to conform to the plans of the houses in which they lived but also occasionally decorated their sarcophagi to imitate either homes or palaces. In this example the recessed panels recall the niches that often decorated the facades of the royal palaces of the pharaohs doubtless because Kaiemneferet wished to emulate the life of his pharaoh in the Hereafter. The sarcophagus is an extraordinary example of sculpture when one considers that the stone was quarried from Aswan and transported on the River Nile over a distance of several hundred miles to Giza. Together with its lid, the sarcophagus weighs over 3 tons.

Photo courtesy of Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum

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